President Uhuru Kenyatta has lifted the nationwide curfew that has been in place since March 27, 2020.
President Uhuru made the decision citing the drop in rate of COVID-19 infection in the country.
The lift of the nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfew is effective immediately.
Uhuru made the announcement on Wednesday during the 58th Mashujaa Day celebrations at the Wang’uru Stadium in Kirinyaga county.
“I hereby order that the nationwide dusk to dawn curfew that has been in effect from 2020 be vacated with immediate effect,” Uhuru announced amid delighted applause from Kenyans in the stadium.
ANC Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi ia among the political leaders who called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to lift the ongoing nationwide curfew to allow Kenyans to have an opportunity to recover from the dire effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mudavadi said Kenyans cannot continue bearing the economic hardships anymore and the economy must be opened.
Mudavadi cited the need for the country to go back to its normal business hours without inconveniencing the citizens.
“It is clear that the economic hardships continue to bite several sectors of the economy. The transport sector, the small-scale traders’ sector, hospitality sector among others. It is time the curfew is lifted,” Said Mudavadi.
Mudavadi said the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the already difficult economic situation in the country and from the look of things it is time the curfew is lifted to enable Kenyans to get back on their feet and vend for their families.
He says curfew restrictions continue to give a negative effect on livelihoods and easing the ban on night movement and business restrictions will at a greater percentage help many Kenyans, toil and make a coin or two.
“We were already in bad shape even before COVID-19 struck. The pandemic just accelerated what was already a difficult situation that we were facing as a country,” argued Mudavadi.
Mudavadi says the nationwide curfew is aggravating life that is already unbearable and he has emphasized that as a country we should not pretend that all is well.
The ANC chief who has continuously advocated for the resuscitation of the economy for it to work well, says the cries of Kenyans should not be ignored at this juncture adding that families go without a meal for days thus there is a need to re-look at some of the Covid-19 restriction measures and ease a few without compromising the lives of Kenyans.
[ANC Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi. Photo/Ahmed Omar].
“We are not saying that the COVID-19 guidelines should not be observed, but clearly, we cannot continue in a situation where economic hardships continue and yet we can see the numbers in Covid-19 cases declining. People must be given an opportunity to start recovering,” said Mudavadi.
The Pubs, Entertainment, and Restaurants Association of Kenya (PERAK) on Tuesday made the passionate appeal to the president to lift the curfew.
PERAK Nairobi Chapter Chairman Frank Mbogo said players in the sector are convinced that it is time to lift the curfew and other restrictions that have resulted in job losses in the sector.
Covid-19 infection rates have been below 5% over the last three weeks and increased vaccinations have given hope that the pandemic could substantially slow down.
Muthami said many bar and restaurant operators continue to suffer harassment at the hands of the police as they enforce the protocols.
“The entertainment sector remains the only one facing restrictions as all other sectors are open. Matatus are operating at full capacity, supermarkets and other markets are open and churches are open and functioning normally,” said Muthami.
More than 15,000 bars and restaurants have been shut since the onset of the pandemic, rendering an estimated 90,000 workers jobless, according to PERAK.